Tulsi Tea - Enjoy the Health Benefits of a Daily Cup
Tulsi tea is one of the most favorite teas used in my office. Every week I have to replace my supply of it in my complimentary tea bar. One reason is because it just tastes good. Another reason is that I have been teaching my patients about its benefits. You get a great "pick me up feeling" from it and it does not have caffeine in it.
Ocimum sanctum, called Tulsi in India, is common in Hindu tradition. Also known as Holy Basil, it is the most revered of all household plants in India. Holy Basil is used as a healing herb and is considered the reincarnation of Visnu. Therefore, it is considered "sacred".
The latest research has shown that the most relevant benefit of Tulsi tea is that it protects from the effects of radiation. The recent events in Japan following the great earthquakes are still playing out. The radiation leakage has not been stopped, even now as I write this article on May 28, 2011.
Research on the effects of Tulsi tea also show that it improves a weak immune system, lowers cholesterol, decreases high blood pressure, increases lung health, aids in indigestion, and helps to balance blood sugar.
It is very important to note that folks with HIV can benefit greatly from having a daily cup of the tea. Also, although I do not endorse smoking anything, it is critical for smokers to have Tulsi tea as the research tells us that it helps regenerate tissue of lungs.
As previously mentioned, Tulsi tea is also known as Holy Basil. It is an easy plant to grow and very common in many households in India. Holy Basil comes in two forms - a green plant and a purple one. With purple stems is called Krishna Tulsi and the green form is called Rama Tulsi. It is said that in Indian folklore if you eat three leaves of fresh Holy Basil that you will prevent any diseases.
Tulsi is one of the most researched plants in ayurvedic pharmacology. It has been shown to have the highest amount of anti-oxidant value of all other researched ayurveda herbs. It is an erect sweet-scented pubescent herb, 30-100cm in height, growing in abundance near cultivated field gardens and wastelands. Its leaves, seeds, and whole plant are useful. Also check more about Ocimum Sanctum and Benefits of Jaggery .
Tulsi offers a wide spectrum of health benefits even from just one cup of tea. The nutrients identified in it are calcium, vitamins A and C, zinc, iron and chlorophyll. It is ill advised to drink more than two cups of it per day. One is probably a better idea, as it is strong; definitely more is not better. It also has a heating effect so if you are hot or having hot flashes then Tulsi tea will not be good for you that day.
Tulsi is considered a rasayana in ayurvedic medicine. This means it is a herb that helps increase perfusion at the tissue level which helps nutrients to be absorbed into cells. Just as with hot peppers that have a hot taste, Tulsi has a taste that is sweet, pungent, and astringent and has a post digestive heating effect. It increases pitta, which is why if you are hot or tend to run hot then this is not the tea for you. This, however, does not apply in the case of a true fever as Tulsi is very helpful to reduce a fever. The procedure in reducing fevers is to take Tulsi with pepper. This induces sweating to help clear clogged channels and bring down the fever.
Tulsi is wonderful if you are breathless on simple exertion. Of course, it is always important to consult a doctor if you are breathless on exertion or are experiencing any serious or continuing breathing problems.
The following is a recipe used for the common cold, cough or sinus congestion.
Take 1/4 tsp. of ginger, 1/2 tsp. of Turmeric, and 1/2 tsp. of Tulsi. Boil these ingredients in one and half cups of water. Boil down to one cup. Do this two to three times a day.